20 OCTOBER 1984, Page 23

Southern proles

Sir: If Peregrine WorsthornA ever stooped to using public transport in the south (Diary, 6 October), he would discover that there are genuine proles here too. Who does he think empties the dustbins and serves in the shops? One should not be surprised he does not notice them though: high Tories are brought up not to notice the servants.

What is more interesting is the total failure of the trendy Left in the south to notice the working class around them. They seem to be concerned only with well-paid workers in i.mithern heavy indus- tries. But I have heard of several cases of northerners coming to the south to seek jobs only to return on seeing the low wage rates for manual workers here. And as Worsthorne suggests, it is far more miser- able to be poor in the midst of affluence. I suspect middle-class socialists are made too uncomfortable by real workers and find it much easier to fantasise about idealistic working-class heroes a safe distance away from them.

The Labour Party has never spoken out for those not fortunate enough to work in areas where union organisation is easy. Consequently it has suffered a massive drop in support in the south where service and small industries predominate. It will not win back those vital southern seats by acting as if the working class consisted solely of miners and polytechnic lecturers. Matthew Huntbach

Political Organiser, South-East England Young Liberal Federation, 20 Stonery Close, Portslade, Sussex